18 July 2012
Bangladesh started their Europe tour positively after winning the first Twenty20 of the three match series by 71 runs against Ireland at Stormont in Belfast today. Ireland bowlers had little answer to the attacking Bangladeshi batsmen while their batsmen were clueless against the quality left arm spin of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh were sent to bat first by Ireland after a 30 minute delay due to wet outfield and the mercurial opening duo of Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Ashraful shared a confident 35 run opening partnership to lay the foundation of Bangladesh innings. However, it was the classy 33 ball 57 by Shakib Al Hasan that helped Bangladesh innings to gather momentum which was accelerated by some brutal hitting by Ziaur Rahman in his debut match for the country. Ziaur blasted 5 sixes in his 17 ball 40 that took the match out of the reach of the Irish batsmen and propelled Bangladesh to 190 for 5 in 20 overs. Ziaur was aptly supported by Mahmudullah Riyad who chipped in with a breezy 15 ball 23.
Facing a mammoth task of chasing 191 in 20 overs, Ireland started positively as skipper William Porterfield clobbered Bangladeshi medium fast bowlers to all over the park. Ireland raced to 32 runs in 3 overs which prompted Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim to introduce spin in the 4th over of the match. Bangladeshi spinners led by T20 debutant Elias Sunny strangled the Irish batsmen and they lost 5 wickets in the space of 14 deliveries scoring only 5 runs.
Ireland never threatened to go anywhere near to Bangladesh score after they succumbed to 64 for 7, but some late hitting by Gary Wilson gave some respectability to Irish total as they finished on 119 for 8 in 20 overs. Elias Sunny became the first person in T20 International history to take 5 wickets on debut as he picked 5 wickets for a miserly 13 runs. Other left arm spinner Abdur Razzak was even more economical as he gave away only 9 runs in 4 overs and picked 2 wickets. Elias Sunny was adjudged man-of-the-match for his record breaking performance with the ball.
Bangladesh will play the second match of the series at the same venue on Friday 20 July 2012.